Amazing Bird’s Eye View Of Texas Fracking

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Above: For larger image see photo by Amy Youngs.

An aerial photo taken on August 3rd of fracking operations in Texas has caused a rumble online, drawing 20,000 views on the photo sharing site, Flckr.

The photo, posted by Amy Youngs, carries the inscription:

Saw these strange new human-made landscapes on my flight from Sacramento to Houston. Not farming, not subdivisions, but many miles of rectangular patches etched out of the earth, some with pools next to them, all with roads to them. I doubt that people see these when driving on major roads – I never have – but they were very visible from a plane. Welcome to your new landscape!

Modern-day hydraulic fracturing was first developed in Texas’ Barnett Shale. As of 2011, the state led the nation with over 100,00 gas wells – many of which have involved fracking in recent years. The water-intensive process is being questioned as Texas faces drought conditions.

See an interactive image of the above fracking operations in google maps.

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues – especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada’s wild salmon – working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

  • HMMM [sniiiiff] smells yummy! safe clean burning natural gas, mmmm. Thanks for the collusion Democrats, good score stealing that connection away from the Republicans rather than pushing it down a flight of stairs! Good for you!! Thanks for everything!

  • Dewdle

    Every fracked well uses between5 and 15 million gallons of water , at first . Might go on and on. Every well frack is unique for the particular ingredients and proprietary ” recipe” they pump down the hole , but they all use a helluva lot of water.

    Do the math. Texas is dehydrating.

    P.S. It takes a LOT of fine grained silca sand to frack, too. Some of those mining operations to yield that sand are also abominations.

  • Anita Stewart

    This has everything to do with partisan politics, both parties and representatives from both sides of the aisle are equally responsible and should be held equally accountable…(both sides take money from BIG OIL). The Green Party candidates do not take money from corporations.

  • Allison Moss-Fritch

    We need to wrestle the chokehold that big oil has on alternative (better and cheaper) renewable energy. One way to do that is to make poier companies publicly owned. ….and they need to be accountable to our voters.

  • HeftyJo

    Anybody who is anti-fraking is pro-Saudi oil. Most all energy is produced from petroleum sources. Despite billions spent on green energy it can only muster about 7%. Not to mention that wind mills take up tracks of land up to 20 miles long they also require 100’s of miles of new high tension power lines. And unlike these wells the 400 foot towers are easily visible eye sores. As far as water, around 70% of the water is reclaimed and reused in other wells or treated and made safe. Also, the fraking process is a one time thing. Once a well is fraked it’ll produce for over 20 years. So all those wells in that picture represent generations worth of energy. And no I’m not a shill for big oil; I’m just practical and reasonable.

  • Sean West

    your crazy, sheeple will let anything happen to them, enjoy that energy while you die from lack of water, or maybe your house will fall on you during an earthquake.

  • charblan

    How about instead of constantly looking for new sources of oil, we use what we have more wisely? For instance, super insulating our houses, buying cars with excellent gas mileage, solar water heaters, organic home vegetable gardens, the list goes on. We can still have a good quality of life without totally destroying the planet.

  • Lavender

    Care to address climate change?

  • Alexandra Ormsby

    As an environmentalist, I am horrified by this picture. This area of the Earth should be dotted with lovely family farms and retirement villages. It is full of lakes and forests, all of which are being destroyed by oil and gas drilling. This is a first-hand view of Mother Earth being raped.

  • Alexandra Ormsby

    And you and your children will soon be dead, either from air pollution or water pollution, or lack of water altogether. Good luck, reasonable man.

  • Craig Thompson

    PforO would like to see New Era Colorado succeed & the USA follow through & make us proud. As the world revolting makes more victims in Global Warming storms, if GDR & the like don’t win, there will be more nuclear catastrophies. I don’t know enough about fracking but am open to learn. I just hope we remain humanitarian & True Christian Ethic (we are our brother’s keeper) when sh*t does hit the fan. Looks like greed & energy is our problem, & will get worse before it gets better. Blessed be-

  • Dan MacRitchie

    “eyesore” is an opinion….i think wind farms look amazing. just looking out at them is very inspiring about what other alternatives are out there… so funny that some people would rather polluted to all ends of the earth and then think alternatives are not feasible because, lol omg, because get this….they dont look very nice….there should be more windmill on every roof top!

  • kevinzeese

    Definitely with you on that, Dan. When I see wind farms along the side of the road it is something that makes me feel good. Evidence of the transition we need to a clean energy economy, an end to the carbon-nuclear energy economy.

  • WmThomas2424

    I’m am glad we have developed fracking. Poor people get hit the hardest be energy costs, keeping costs down should be the #1 priority until we develop cost effective energy sources that can be used nationally.

  • kevinzeese

    Unfortunately poor people are also subjected to the worst environmental degradation from the processing of carbon fuels and the pollution caused by extraction like fracking.

    We would be much smarter to switch to a clean energy economy and begin by making the homes of poor and working class people energy efficient and producers of energy. That would be a lot less expensive and without the negative environmental effects.

  • WmThomas2424

    It’s not a lot less expensive or it would be done now. The clean fuels have some way to go to become cheaper than fossil. It will happen when I can’t say. Until then drill.

  • kevinzeese

    There is no question that efficiency is the least expensive first step to ending our reliance on carbon fuels. Since the US wastes literally half the energy we use, there is a lot to do to make homes, businesses and government building efficient. The problem with sustainable energy, especially dispersed to every rooftop and every community, is that there is not as much profit in it. When people are producing their own energy then existing energy profiteers lose out. Germany has shown how changes in law can spread clean energy quickly by making it into something profitable for individuals to put on their homes. The old dirty energies are heavily subsidized; and much of it not even recorded for example the tax payers pay for the pollution. With nuclear tax subsidies for insurance, underwriting loans and dealing with waste are essential but even with these nuclear is no longer competitive.

    But, it really comes down to us making a decision — a dirty energy future or a clean one. In the end we will have to move to wind, solar, geothermal and ocean energy. The sooner we do it the less expensive it will be to make the transition. But, this is not just a money issue. It is also one of environmental toxicity, climate change and living in a sustainable way. Time to end the Republican “drill baby drill” and the Democrat “all of the above” energy strategies and put in place a clean, sustainable energy future.

  • Topshotta

    W the price of Gas doing so poorly, Fracking for gas reserves will end soon. In fact a lot of producers are liquidating their unconventional assets… People don’t know that you can frack with just about any fluid though.

  • Dot Chast


  • john

    and big corp’s buy your water rights and make it illegal to catch rain water as that is theft of a corporate resource…already happening in some states of the US…so you cant even catch water falling freely to quench that thirst..or water your vegetable patch…oh..sorry..even that is illegal in some US cant grow your own because the veggies are patented…how’s that freedom thing going for you?……

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  • We should try a lot harder to find alternatives then shouldn’t we? If the US devoted say one tenth of its military budget towards R&D into renewables and power storage we’d have answers in no time. Where there’s a will there’s a way. The problem is that as long as the US government is the oil industry there will be no will. And the inevitable result will be the destruction of our planet and most life on it. Carrying on extracting fossil fuels in ever more damaging and costly ways is not an option we can consider.